While she was out sick, a financial fraud scheme by a former bank teller for Bank of America was discovered by her manager. Over the course of 15 years Michele Gentry managed to embezzle close to $700,000 at one branch of the national bank headquartered here in Charlotte.
According to the federal prosecutor involved in Gentry’s financial crimes case, the former teller covered her tracks by using fake bank deposits. Part of her job at the Bank of America branch was moving money from the vault to the tellers’ drawers. She was able to siphon off between $500 and $2000 each time she committed an act of embezzlement from her employer.
The financial fraud scheme was uncovered in 2011. After two years of investigation, Gentry was charged with federal white collar crimes related to the embezzlement of employer funds. Gentry pled guilty to federal embezzlement charges and could potentially face a prison sentence of 30 years or more in addition to fines reaching north of $1 million.
What Is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is a financial crime that involves taking the property – typically money – of someone who has entrusted you with it but using it for yourself. It is a theft crime.
Embezzlement often arises in an employee-employer context, as with the bank teller fraud that occurred at Bank of America. Gentry’s manager had entrusted her with access to the bank’s vault for the purposes of her employment; she was supposed to make sure that teller drawers contained the necessary cash to handle transactions at the window.
Instead, Gentry abused the trust that was placed in her regarding access to the vault and took money for her own personal use. That is embezzlement.
Source: WSOCTV, “SC bank teller admits embezzling over $700K from BofA branch,” February 6, 2013